Summer vacation rocks my socks! Am I allowed to tell people I became a teacher for the summers off, or will that give us teachers a bad name?
Now that I've had some time to reflect on my first year of teaching, I'm ready to say something I don't say very often: I am tremendously proud of what I accomplished this year. When I look back over my lesson plan book to the lessons I was writing in September, it's painfully obvious just how far I've come -- from having no idea what I was doing to scheduling my curriculum with ease. As incredible as it seems to me now, my school created a brand new position, filled it with a brand new teacher -- and never gave that teacher (me) any idea or guidance about what on earth she was supposed to be teaching. I came up with my curriculum all on my own, without an outline or a mentor or professional development or even common planning sessions with any other teachers.
I made a lot of mistakes. But I learned from each and every one of them. And now that it's summer, I'm grateful for the opportunity to bask in my tiny successes: the day one of my second graders said, "Miss Brave, I like writing now"; every time a student reported a new Flat Stanley sighting; the praise I got from other teachers at our end of year planning sessions. I've grown enormously as a teacher this year. And no matter where I go from here, it will have been quite an experience.